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There reaches a point where you have to respond. There was a time when it was best to stand back and wait. The anti-victory crowd is on the well-worn path of smear and clobber.
Daniel Henninger put it right to the point.
Now it isn't just that the war on terror has proven hard; the men and women fighting for us, the magnificent 99%, are being soiled in a repetitive, public way that is unbearable.Fight.
The Taliban will wage its fiercest campaign of attacks in the coming months in an attempt to hamper the transfer of security duties in Afghanistan from the U.S. military to NATO, Kabul's ambassador in Washington says.Of obvious interest here in the EUCOM world.
"During the upcoming months, the Taliban will resort to the utmost violence to prevent reconstruction and discourage NATO countries from further deployment," Said Jawad told The Washington Times.
By the way, fellow mil-types (especially those with a touch of grey) will appreciate the "complexities" involved in dropping a NATO op in the CENTCOM world with a light sprinkling of EUCOM, USAFE, USAREUR, SOCEUR, and USNAVEUR assets in the mix. Combat action with the Taliban will be a welcome respite for some.
The rest of you can take my word for it.
We don't need no stinkin' Zarqawi tape.
Flight suit patch for Minuteman III nuclear missileers.
(AP) CAIRO, Egypt The leader of al Qaeda in Iraq urged Sunnis to confront Shiites and ignore calls for reconciliation in a new audiotape posted Friday on the Web, saying Shiite militias are killing and raping the Sunni Arab minority.You can't underestimate Sistani's status among Iraqi Shiites - the man is revered like no other. The direct insult of Sistani is designed to enrage the Shiite community. Zarqawi is attempting to provoke them more than he is the Sunnis.
The tape was a four-hour sermon by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi against Shiites, denouncing their top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani as an "atheist," and saying the community had collaborated with invaders throughout Iraq's history.
But tape on the web?
Marines launched unprovoked attack? Who says?
Dave S. sends this story about the passing of one of Maine's heroes of WWII, Second Lieutenant Ed Dahlgren:
Medal of Honor recipient dies at 90
CARIBOU - Edward Dahlgren, a World War II veteran who received the Medal of Honor for spearheading the rescue of a platoon of fellow soldiers that was surrounded during a German counterattack, died Wednesday at the Maine Veterans Home in Caribou. He was 90.
Dahlgren, a sergeant in the 36th Infantry Division, captured more than 20 German soldiers while killing and wounding several others during combat in France on Feb. 11, 1945.
"I was afraid before it happened and after it happened," Dahlgren said in an interview 14 years ago. "But in battle I just acted on the spur of the moment."
Dahlgren, whose other medals included the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart and the French Croix de Guerre, was discharged from the Army as a second lieutenant...
Military prosecutors plan to file murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges against seven Marines and a Navy corpsman in the shooting death of an Iraqi civilian in April, a defense lawyer said Thursday.
This is unrelated to Haditha. It is very much related to Commandant Hagee's recent trip around the world.
The officer corps, commissioned and enlisted, of the Corps, and I don't doubt, the Army, need to pause, reflect, and make sure they've got their moral compasses with them.
That said - this happens in every war of significant duration that has ever been fought. That includes the "Last Great War" that ended in 1945. The Greatest Generation had it's murderers, too.
One of the things that marks a distinction between our miltary and Saddam's military, or Milosevic's, or Hitler's is the fact that we're doing the investigating (the Marine investigation of Haditha predates the press revelations of same) and where the evidence supports the allegations - we prosecute.
And, just like in real life murders - even though we know something stinks, and we're pretty sure we know who did it - the evidence just isn't there, so yes, I'm sure some malefactors go unpunished. Just like in the rest of an imperfect world, where real CSIs and the labs they work for can't wrap everything up neatly in one hour. Much less have some of the crime scene control issues offered up in a combat zone. Unlike the Press and the Public, a Court has to have sufficient evidence, a distinction, at bottom, we're all glad exists.
If there's evidence, charge 'em. Fight it out in Court. And if the defense loses, we've got space here at Leavenworth. Send 'em to us.
The whole story is here.
Crossposted at Castle Argghhh!
Update: In a Haditha-related story - it looks like officers will be going into the dock to defend their actions or lack thereof. Good.
I'll say what CAPT B didn't in his post on the Bronze Star.
It's a medal the Ossifer Class has devalued the meaning of amongst
themselves ourselves - though the public and the press are still impressed with the medal. Of course, if they knew what the percentage of award was, they might not be as impressed - and that's too bad.
In my decades of experience - if you see *anyone* with the "V" for Valor device on the Bronze Star, there's a story there.
If you see an enlisted soldier with the Bronze Star, give her that little extra nod of respect, because you know she was a stand-out performer.
If you see an officer with a Bronze Star - no V device - often as not, you are looking at the equivalent of a combat zone Meritorious Service Medal (the Bronze Star rates just above the MSM) for doing their job well. I know *how* that happened over time, but the bottom line is, as I said: I see a "V" device, I'm impressed. I see the Bronze Star on an enlisted soldier, I'm impressed. I see one on an officer, no "V", and I know he did his duty creditably in a combat zone. But unless the rules have changed (and I haven't deployed for this war) he could have served as an assistant G3 slide-maker in Division Headquarters, or he could have been the Lieutenant leading the lead platoon into Baghdad for a Thunder Run, or the Captain commanding the MLRS battery. All are important jobs, all are part of the team, but they don't carry the same level of risk, nor opportunity for finding yourself a warrior hero.
And the only enlisted troop in those locations who might sport a Bronze Star is likely in the Thunder Run platoon.
Before the email starts - it doesn't mean, Officers, that you didn't earn *your* Bronze Star. But look around you at all the Bronze Stars worn by officers, vice how they are awarded to the troops, and tell me that the officer corps hasn't morphed the meaning of the medal.
Me? I would actually prefer putting a Star on the MSM ribbon, to indicate excellence in performance in a combat zone, and let the Bronze Star revert to what it was originally intended to be. I don't object to the distinction being made between serving in a combat zone vice the Directorate of Combat Developments at the Field Artillery Center. Of course, in one aspect, the combat patch already makes that distinction, along with the Combat Infantry and Close Combat badges. I just object to how the Bronze Star has morphed.
Editor, Times-Dispatch: I am appalled that Donald Rumsfeld had the gall to come to VMI and invoke the name of Jonathan Daniels, a 1961 graduate who died trying to save a child from being killed.
I knew Jon, another English major only two years behind me. He was a brilliant, courageous, peaceful, and modest young man. Had he been called upon to do so, he would have defended his country. But he would no more have endorsed a conflict like the one in Iraq, where thousands of women and children have been killed by our forces, than he would have sprouted wings and flown to the moon.
Jon was a person, in the best and fullest sense of the word. To many who knew him, he is still an inspiration. What he is not, and never should be, is a sound bite. Kenneth Bradford. Richmond.
Okay guy, Secretary Rumsfeld wasn't using Jon Daniels' name to make a pro-war statement. What he did say was that Jon Daniels was a hero, and that VMI cadets would do the Institute proud to live their lives by his example. If there was some sort of grand offense against Daniels and the greater civil rights movement there, I'm not seeing it.
I know there are folks who disagree with Pentagon policies, but good grief....
The BBC has uncovered new video evidence. And their source? As Bruce Kesler points out, "It’s not until the 14th paragraph that the BBC reveals:"
The pictures came from a hardline Sunni group opposed to coalition forces.
A "hardline" Sunni group? I am not sure, but I believe that puts them just a notch below Dick Cheney. At least is wasn't a Sunni "hawk" group. Then perhaps the public would begin to wonder.
At any rate, the British media can take solice that at least they are not US Marines. "Hardliners" at least can be trusted.
With Haditha dominating the current news cycle, is it possible - as unthinkable as it is - that some Palestinians were actually seeking out an exploitable tragedy through the sacrifice of their own children? I shudder to think...
A group of Palestinian children were sent towards the Gaza Strip border fence holding toy guns on Thursday in order to test the vigilance of the soldiers on duty.
From a distance, troops noticed four apparently armed Palestinians approaching the border north of the Kissufim crossing.
When the four were some 400 meters from the fence, the soldiers realized that they were children, who looked to be about 13 years of age, and that their guns were toys.
For those so inclined, see The Armed Forces Journal 2006 Conference titled "The Power & Limits of Jointness". Some interesting topics and speakers.